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To Sam

Positivity and Pride

Hi Sam.

I know this isn't what you usually get, and I fully understand if you don't want to publish this one online, I'm sure there are so many more messages out there that are more important than this. I just wanted to tell you about something positive that happened at school regarding LGBTQ+ rights. So many of the messages published aren't very positive at all and I understand how important they are, but I'd just like to spread some happiness.

Back in June, a friend of mine went to Pride. She was the only one out of a large group of LGBTQ+ friends who was able to go, and she brought back a little pride starter pack containing a large rainbow flag and ten smaller flags. I had a matching rainbow flag at home, and she had a bisexual flag, so we decided to bring them into school the next day. We quietly spread "pride parade, courtyard tomorrow at lunch" about the school, and the next day at lunch, around 30 people met us by the wall, which wasn't too bad for a school of 850.

And it was glorious. We paraded. Flags flying back in the wind, beaming smiles from every one of us. We went a few circuits, and the best part? We went by the outdoor food kiosk and all bought lunch whilst parading!

Sometime near science block, however, some guys stole one of our flags and ran away with it. The head teacher came outside, a formidable and imposing man, you wouldn't want to be on the wring side of him. He's glaring, and powering towards us. We all shift about, unsure of what to do, a few hastily walk away. He reaches us.

And keeps going. He takes back our flag from the guys and hands it back to us. He tells us that he fully supports our parade and good on us for being brave enough to show our true colors. We do another lap, and feeling very proud, disperse and go back to how everything was beforehand, except one thing.

Everyone seemed happier after that. It must have rubbed off on everyone. People were laughing and smiling and chatting about it for days. It was amazing.

That was Pride.

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there

Pride parades are events that celebrate and raise awareness of LGBT culture and pride all over the world. Sometimes pride parades are also demonstrations for legal rights. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and more. It can take different people different amounts of time to understand their sexuality and there are lots of different types of sexuality and sexual identities.

Celebrating pride is positive and empowering. Wearing bright colours and doing something new can help to build self-esteem and confidence and may encourage others to do the same.

Everyone has the right to be who they are and everyone has the right to bring out the best of them, although at times it can take confidence and courage to do so. It only takes a few people to make a big difference and it sounds like this is what happened at your school.

This simple act of people coming together and standing alongside one another, accepting and valuing each other, changed what would have been an ordinary day at school into something quite special and memorable. It’s also great to hear your headmaster supports you and acknowledges the courage and stand you all made.

The Childline message boards are a great place to share ideas, experiences and happiness and are used by lots of young people. You could create a new thread to encourage others to share their ideas about pride. The board offers a safe supportive environment to talk to like-minded people who want to support one another and may have similar experiences.

Being supported is important. Many people find it hard to come out and be who they are. They may feel alone, not sure how people will react or worry they won’t be understood or supported. There may be fears around being discriminated against or bullied. Support can help with these feelings and Childline counsellors are always here to talk to.

What a wonderfully, uplifting letter. Thank you for sending this in to me.

Take care.

Sam

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